Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley calls a column by LA Weekly's Harold Meyerson and a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal written by New Times' Michael Lacey "self-interested positions staked out by those who are directly affected by this investigation." Cooley claims he reads LA Weekly "because it is a valuable news organ" and says New Times LA was "occasionally very funny, on occasion very insightful, on occasion very cruel." He argues that "It's wrong ... to attribute political motives to government agencies that are just doing their jobs. ... we're at the investigative stage. At the end of the exercise, there may be a determination that what's been uncovered falls short of establishing a violation of the law."
The Justice Department's investigation of the Village Voice Media-New Times deal to close weeklies in Cleveland and Los Angeles is apparently driven by a concern "that the assisted suicide of New Times in Los Angeles reflects a narrowing of political perspectives in the city, and that it is the government's responsibility to create more ideological space," Harold Meyerson writes. He adds that if investigators really looked they would find at least as much "ideologically driven or monomaniacal" editorial slant at the dailies as at alternative newsweeklies.